Every golfer knows the assumed risk of possibly being hit by a ball when out playing a round of golf. Getting drilled by a golf ball can leave both minor and serious injuries to both golfers and spectators. So in order to prevent further injuries, could helmets be in the near future for golfers?
That’s what one proposal based in the United Kingdom is seeking to do, according to Golf Punk. The new proposal across the pond, which is being pushed by a health, safety, and employment agency called Protecting.co.uk, is hoping to require golfers to have to wear crash helmets when playing golf.
Thousands of pounds are doled out each year in claims for head injuries caused by errant golf balls, according to agency spokesperson Chris Hall. Hall also said that golf needs more safety measures akin to those that exist already in other sports.
“If you look at a selection of other sports played in the UK, both contact and non-contact, there are measures in place to reduce injury,” Hall said to Golf Punk. “For example, many amateur and lower-league rugby clubs insist on protective helmets; martial arts classes provide pads for their students – and this is not just to prevent injury. It’s because financially, it makes sense for clubs (and their insurers) to prove they’ve reduced harm wherever possible.”
Between 16-41 percent of amateur golfers are injured by golf balls each year, and some of the injuries have caused golfers to miss work. As a result, it has led insurance companies and businesses in the UK to push for more golf safety measures in order to reduce the financial burden of injuries. Golf had an injury rate of 1.8 per 1,000, which is actually higher than the rugby injury rate of 1.5 per 1,000.
Hall is optimistic that public pressure and bringing the issue out into the open will help advance the proposed safety measures.
“Public safety campaigns are crucial to changing the status quo,” Hall said. “Cyclists are aware that helmet use is recommended. With enough support from insurers, businesses and health & safety professionals, a similar scenario could happen with golfers.”